Mariá Cardénas’ report on Weaving a Circle of Solidarity with the Brazilian Community: activism from a Black decolonial feminist methodology by Katucha R. Bento (University of Leeds/ Leeds Beckett University), January 24th
In “Weaving a Circle of Solidarity with the Brazilian Community: activism from a Black decolonial feminist methodology”, Katucha R. Bento (University of Leeds/ Leeds Beckett University) presented her work with a Brazilian black woman solidarity group. How, she asked, can we manage “not being able to help” others from our position and to understand and acknowledge the limitations of our academic and/or political activism? Katucha parts here from her own experiences and the dilemma she faced when supporting women in their (daily) struggles while trying not to obscure or discourage their agency. One of the cases presented, a participant -with the support of the Solidarity group – had to deal with an institutional apparatus that were not designed for migrants, having as a consequence, the participant’s decision of withdrawing her rights to access social justice in order to keep her migrant family safe. This also means to understand the complexities of daily struggles and strings attached to them that subalterned women in diaspora face additionally to those forms of violence that have already been discussed in the political and academic arenas, such as gendered, racist and class forms of violence. Where to draw the line between support and intervention and when to withdraw yourself from the lives you care about was at the center of the discussion that followed. These reflections need to be accompanied, Katucha argued, by ethics of caring: These must lie at the heart of a decolonial feminist methodology and the political work as an academic.